Portuguese was spread through Asia, Africa and South America during the 15th and 16th centuries as a result of colonisation and trade, and is now the official language in nine countries including Portugal and Brazil. Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese now outnumber speakers of European Portuguese. Portuguese is a Romance language, closely related to Italian, Spanish and French. Because of this close relationship, it is not difficult for learners familiar with one of these languages to acquire another. English speakers, however, sometimes find the pronunciation challenging. Portuguese speakers in Australia come from equally from Portugal and Brazil, with a small community also coming from East Timor (Timor-Leste). There are some community language schools established for language maintenance purposes, and Portuguese is additionally taught at two universities in 2015.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 33,348 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: European Languages

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